He can’t be bothered with our sheets,
he must be downstairs in the kitchen
as his shadow has always been each time
the inconceivable has happened—
His mother’s last two months at 53,
or the time his quiet wife cheated, and
the many lies that came with the cheating.
With his right gripping a bread knife
and his left, widening for a pear,
his shadow shortens to a ten-year-old
trying to get to the heart of the matter—
his mother’s suitcase filling up
on a bed. Not long after, her call for help
with the carrying, by the stairs.
In our room, as cancer cells multiply
inside, I watch over our mattress
the undersheet in the air. I see
to a breath it makes, as it falls,
lands almost perfectly in place,
before another breath it takes to see
the longer ends settle on the right side.
Rind after rind, the inside darkens, shrivels
as the good faith is squeezed out until
there is nearly none left to divide.
In place is a pair of seeds.
Anything it takes, I suppose,
even such pills, to keep him from
finding the heart of the matter, before I do.